This article has good sentence structure, but the logic seems to be,

“X really vague thing which I don’t define” (“woke”)


“Y other thing I don’t define” (“religion”)


“Z, which I don’t explain.” (spiritual)

The only concrete point in the whole article is that turnstile jumping is bad (followed by a vague and unsupported assertion that “liberals” don’t mind it).

Like many Americans, I live in a place dominated by cars, not a subway. Could we then substitute a different low-level crime and try the same reasoning? For example, does speeding or running a red light create a similar culture of lawlessness? Arguably, these minor offences are worse than turnstile jumping as they can cause great harm to innocent others. But interestingly, no one ever seems to go after speeders or light runners for destroying our laws-based society, although these are crimes that most of us live with constantly. Interesting.

Perhaps we should follow your logic and go hard after such offences. And let’s not stop at traffic violations. Let’s go after all kinds of lawlessness. I suggest we start with vigorously prosecuting tax fraud perpetrated by those earning over $250,000 a year in either income or capital gains.

If this idea doesn’t fit with your moral framework, you may want to ask yourself how it is that turnstile jumping - a crime mostly committed by poor people- destroys our society, but tax fraud - mostly committed by the wealthy- is not nearly so bad.

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This is one of the worst Shadi articles. I am not even sure what he is trying to say. Maybe if He tried to define what “Wokeness” is, that would have made a difference.

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If identity politics is caused by a religious vacuum, then why is it so dominant in America, specifically? After all, other secular democracies around the world have had much lower levels of religious belief, for much longer. Yet wokeness is a specifically American phenomenon. Even when it shows up in other countries, its American tilt is often visible.

There may nevertheless be some kind of religious angle, here, in that America is in the process of becoming less religious. Since many Americans are not used to this, the change might be creating an instability. But this is still only a partial explanation, because other countries have gone through this transition more smoothly.

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